Today We Became Engaged
by Dianne Ahern
A thoughtful, romantic, faith-centered, keepsake book for couples discerning marriage. Discusses the power of love, the importance of shared values and more. This is a marriage planner…not a wedding planner! Allows couples to record their courtship and engagement stories for years to come.
Price: $22.95 hardback gift edition
A thought provoking, romantic, faith-centered book for young adults and couples discerning marriage.
This book explores:
– The power of love
– The importance of shared values — commitment, fairness, courage, compassion, honesty, respect, and forgiveness
– History of betrothal and engagement
– Entertaining stories of proposals, engagement rings, and acceptances
“Something magical happens when two people decide they want to spend the rest of their lives together. They stand on the threshold of being totally committed to one another for as long as they both shall live, regardless of health or wealth. It is the time to revel in the mystery of what lies ahead — soon a wedding and a honeymoon, then a home, children, mingling of families and friends, sharing joys, sharing sorrows, and most importantly, the two becoming one through marriage,” excerpt from Today We Became Engaged.
It’s also a keepsake book for the engaged couple to record
– The story of how we met
– Our courtship
– Our Engagement
– Family traditions we want to keep
– Promises to each other
– Our future together
… and more
The Catholic Post
(Diocese of Peoria), February 10, 2002
What to do before ‘I do’?
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — There is no shortage of guidebooks for engaged couples seeking answers to questions such as who should pay for their wedding reception, what are the current fashions in wedding attire and how soon thank-you notes must be sent for gifts.
But when it comes to the ultimate questions engaged couples face — is my fiancée really the right person for me? Do we really love one another? Would I make a good spouse or parent? — few publications in the secular market have addressed them.
That is, until Dianne Ahern decided to change that
Ahern, a native of Sacred Heart Parish in Campus, recently published “Today We Became Engaged,” a combination keepsake book and compendium of advice to help engaged couples know if they are truly in love, approach marriage as a vocation, and discern whether or not they are really called to it.
“I wanted it to be romantic, yet thoughtful, and to bring God into it in a friendly manner, not ‘lecturey’ or preachy,” Ahern, 58, told The Catholic Post in a telephone interview from her office in Ann Arbor this week.
“When people are in love, they are very excited and looking to the future,” she said. She believes her book celebrates and fosters that spirit, while also “bringing to the fore things they (the couple) should think about.”
“Today We Became Engaged,” published in December, is the second in her planned series of books focusing on the sacraments and other rites of passage. Ahern’s first book, “Today I Was Baptized,” was published in June of 2000, and her third book, “Today I Made My First Communion,” is due out later this year.
The 56-page engagement book, illustrated by Katherine Larson, includes sections on wedding and engagement customs and pages for couples to preserve photos and record memories of how they met, how they proposed and their favorite shared or individual activities. It is available through both secular and religious outlets, including several Catholic bookstores in the Diocese of Peoria.
Through anecdotes and personal stories, the book also demonstrates that a relationship is more likely to last when based on shared values such as commitment, fairness, courage, compassion, honesty, respect, and forgiveness, rather than on outward appearance or attractiveness.
“A lot of material published (for engaged couples) covers how to execute a wedding or how to cope with a spouse’s idiosyncrasies,” Ahern said. “But it doesn’t get into what I think is the key to the period of engagement — which is a period of discernment and making sure this man or woman is going to be your lifelong soul mate.”
Ahern, the youngest of four children of the late Vernon and Mary Ahern, grew up in rural Livingston County near Campus. She graduated from Dwight High School in 1961 and from Marian College in Indianapolis in 1965 with a degree in biology. She worked in the medical laboratory field before completing a master’s degree in healthcare administration at Indiana University in 1975.
Currently she is vice president of Elan Systems, an international healthcare consulting firm based in Ann Arbor. In the mid-1990s she worked with OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria to complete a needs assessment for new laboratory facilities that were completed in 1998.
Her interest in writing books began several years ago with a burst of what she now considers divine inspiration.
“I was walking to work one day, having my morning talk with God, and wondering if I was doing the right thing with my life,” she said. “The idea then came to me, why not write little keepsake books on events in your life?”
As a Catholic she immediately thought of the sacraments as natural subjects for her writing. She started with baptism, since it is a sacrament common to all Christians and because christening celebrations bring generations of family together. She then wanted to do a book on marriage, but felt something was lacking in most of the existing guidebooks on wedding planning and marriage relationships.
“I thought something is not hitting the right spot, because there are still so many divorces and bad marriages” despite all the pages of advice, Ahern said. “I thought people needed to focus more on why they are getting married.”
While Ahern is not married herself, she said she is familiar with both the good and bad sides of couple relationships from her own experience and those of her loved ones.
“My parents were a wonderful example” of a good marriage, she said, noting in the book that they prayed with the family every night before bed. “Until I got out into the world, I didn’t realize how strong a marriage they had. Very few people have the kind of happiness they did.”
She said the spiritual content of the book is “subtle” and designed to appeal to couples who might not otherwise think about the role of God or moral values in their relationship.
The book encourages couples to respect traditional moral convictions regarding premarital sex and cohabitation. It notes that couples who do not live together or have sex before marriage are less likely to divorce.
“Being soul mates first, having a relationship steeped in mutual trust, honesty, commitment, respect and fairness, will guarantee that life together and sex will be totally fulfilling in the marriage covenant,” Ahern writes. “The opposite is not true.”
Because she is known to her nieces and nephews as Aunt Dee, and because she has many childhood memories of exploring her parents’ attic, Ahern named her publishing company Aunt Dee’s Attic.
“You can explore and have an imagination and pretend there,” she said. An attic represents “a creative space” full of personal and family history, she added.
Ahern said all her Aunt Dee’s Attic projects will emphasize strong family values, respect for life and belief in God. Other projects she is planning include books on confirmation, careers or vocations in religious life, dealing with illness and death, becoming grandparents, a child’s first day of school, and welcoming a new baby into the home.
(Archdiocese of Military Services), Vol 2 No 3, 2003
“Spreading the Faith” a letter from the Archbishop
“I was especially taken by a series of colorful, highly informative and attractive gift books ($19.95 each), ‘Today I was Baptized’, ‘Today I Made My First Communion’, and ‘Today We Became Engaged’, each solid, amazingly comprehensive and bound to appeal to the whole family.” Edwin F. O’Brien, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dianne Ahern grew up on a farm in Illinois, has traveled extensively for business and pleasure, and now resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Medical Technology from Marian College (University), and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Indiana University. After rewarding careers in laboratory medicine, hospital administration, and healthcare consulting, Dianne found a new love: researching and writing about the events that shape our lives.
It was after her first Vatican visit in 1999, when Dianne looked into the eyes of Pope (Saint) John Paul II, held his hand, and kissed his ring, that she felt called to write books for Catholic children and their families. Already a successful businesswoman, Dianne formed her own publishing company, Aunt Dee’s Attic, to support her new calling.
Beginning with the sacrament of baptism, Dianne outlined a series of books on the sacraments designed to prepare families for these most important events. Her books’ formats merge storybook, reference book, and memory book elements into beautiful keepsake books. The sacrament books feature the imprimatur of the Catholic Church to assure families that the contents are true Church teachings.
In addition to her books on the sacraments, Dianne has developed a series of adventure/mystery books for young readers subtitled Adventures with Sister Philomena, Special Agent to the Pope. The Adventure books place fictional characters in real settings to teach about the Church, saints, and holy places. Her books have won accolades from retailers, readers, clergy, teachers, grandparents, and moms and dads.
OTHER POPULAR SPIRITUALITY BOOKS
Ice Fog, Spirit Fire and the Narrow Gate: A Journey to Constant Joy by Albert E. Hughes When and how is each person's psychological profile established? Al Hughes takes that question to task in an autobiography that begins with one of his earliest...read more
Philosophy Fridays: Armchair Philosophy Sessions from a High School Physics Classroom by Matthew D’Antuono Aristotle began his great study on causes, which he called Metaphysics, with a simple connection to physics: "All men by nature desire to know. An...read more
FREE ITEMS … Page down to see many FREE offerings! Book #2 … will be available in August 2019 at all usual book outlets (sharing another 100 miracle stories). (Both books are great “life-changing gift items”) Increase the print size by pinching out on your...read more
Screen Addiction: Why You Can't Put That Phone Down by Sister Marysia Weber, RSM Have you ever had an irresistible urge to check your texts, social media posts or email updates when your cell phone rings, beeps or buzzes? Is the amount of time spent on...read more
COMING SOON! LIFE Runners Daily Devotions Edited by Dr. Pat Castle LIFE Runners is the world's largest Pro-Life team, running optional, jersey required, faith needed. We are fueled by prayers and devotions. We impact hearts and minds for saving...read more
Servant of God, Gwen Coniker: God Leads, Faith and Trust Follow by Nancy E. Martin Gwen Coniker, Servant of God, ordinary wife and mother of thirteen, teaches others how to live these dual vocations to a heroic degree. In a contemporary turbulent modern...read more
COMING SOON! Where Are You? Finding Myself in My Greatest Loss by M. J. Flood Where Are You? Finding Myself in My Greatest Loss is the first published work by M.J. Flood. Recalling the author’s experience as the father of a stillborn daughter,...read more
The Philosophical Spirituality Website of Holy Apostles Professor Emerita, Dr. Ronda Chervin. Contact Dr. Ronda at email@example.com. Scroll about halfway down the page for the Options for Widows! Ronda Chervin has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Fordham...read more
The Prayerful Kiss (A Collection of Poetry and Prose) by Francis Etheredge Are a “Prayer” and a “Kiss” irreconcilable? This is the question Francis Etheredge examines through this medley of “moments," both painful and beautiful, which are laid out as a...read more
The Art of Accompaniment: Practical Steps for the Seminary Formator by Sister Marysia Weber, RSM The role of a seminary formator is to accompany the seminarian in the external forum and to discern with him, the seminary community, and larger Church...read more
The Wise Guy and the Fool: A Philosophical Odyssey from Modern Error to Truth, authored by Matthew D’Antuono
The Wise Guy and the Fool by Matthew D’Antuono This is not a textbook on philosophy. It is not an essay on philosophy. It is not a treatise on philosophy. This book is more like philosophical entertainment and illustration: a collection of philosophical...read more
Social Media Magisterium: A No-Nonsense Guide to the Proper Use of Media by Shaun McAfee The positive influence of the media, new and old, is seen through the expansion of Catholic networks that span over 150 countries, and more, allowing the gospel and Christian...read more
Simple Holiness by Albert E. Hughes and Ronda Chervin We all are called to holiness, but we may not know what holiness means or how to approach it. Do you really desire to climb the ladder of holiness? Do you seek a life of spiritual joy in union with God,...read more
Today I Made My First Reconciliationby Dianne AhernWonderfully instructional book!Best friends Maria and Riley accidentally break a window then lie to their parents. Their growing discomfort coincides with encounters with their parish priests and teachers...read more
Today I Made My First Communionby Dianne AhernA favorite gift for First Communion!Join Maria and Riley and their classmates as they offer to help Father Hugo solve the Mystery of the Eucharist. Learn about the Church, the Mass, music and prayer. “Look in...read more
Today I Was Baptized by Dianne Ahern All time best seller! Begins with a children’s story about a baby’s baptism day-told from the baby’s perspective! Includes short essays that explain the sacrament of Baptism. The book becomes a keepsake for this very...read more
Memorize the Latin Mass! by Kevin Vost, Psy.D. In Memorize the Latin Mass! Dr. Kevin Vost harnesses the powerful memory methods of Sts. Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas to help readers learn and remember all the parts and rites of the Traditional Latin...read more
COMING SOON! The Ways of Love: Transforming the Person, A Guided Hundred Day Journal by Stephen Bujno The desire to change those around us is like willing others to go on a diet. The Ways of Love offers itself as an uncomplicated, yet profound...read more
The Family on Pilgrimage: God Leads Through Dead Ends by Francis Etheredge Restless, bitter beyond hope, an unconscious pilgrim becomes conscious at forty that failing to find himself was the moment God awaited to give a sinner the gift of faith,...read more
Becoming a Handmaid of the Lord From the journals of Ronda De Sola Chervin (written between 1977-1996), this autobiographical book explores a life of love and loss from a widow, mother, grandmother, professor of philosophy and theology, an international...read more
The Fabric of Our Lives Assembled and Edited by Dr. Ronda Chervin Reading the Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, Ronda was moved by the ‘everywoman’ quality of that montage of memoirs of Chinese-American women. Years later, while patching together a quilt for her...read more
Seeking Christ in the Crosses & Joys of Aging by Dr. Ronda Chervin Seeking Christ in the Crosses & Joys of Aging is a refreshing and inspiring look at a period of your life ‘en route to eternity’ where Jesus awaits you in a new way. A perfect gift also for...read more
Healing Meditations from the Gospel of St. John Healing Meditations from the Gospel of St. John is about recovering who we are . . . our true selves. Simply put, the true self is the self that God wants us to be, what Kierkegaard called God’s prophesy for...read more
Holding Hands with God Edited by Dr. Ronda Chervin Miscarriage, depression, breast cancer, abuse, divorce, addiction, and other specific personal, chronic problems touch the lives of many Catholic women. While expert advice is plentiful, what so many women...read more
Quotable Saints Ed. Dr. Ronda Chervin These memorable quotes of the saints and hundreds more are uniquely organized by theme in this uplifting treasury. In each chapter, you follow a particular theme and journey with the saints as they provide just the...read more
St. Robert Bellarmine by Shaun McAfee St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) was a prolific author of the Counter Reformation and great defender of the Catholic Church. This book tells the story of the great saint who went from obscure title to become one of...read more
Today Someone I Love Passed Away by Dianne Ahern Danny becomes enraged when he learns he has to give up his room so Grandpa Vernon can come live with his family. However, as time passes, Danny and his siblings develop a deep love for their grandfather who...read more
Memorize the Mass! by Dr. Kevin Vost A downed U.S. fighter pilot survived nearly eight years in a brutal North Vietnamese POW camp by repeating the Mass to himself each day, in Latin and in English. A Maryknoll bishop survived nearly a dozen years confined...read more
Raising Kids with a Healthy Body Image: A Guide for Catholic Parents by Dr. John C. Acquaviva Raising Kids with a Healthy Body Image: A Guide for Catholic Parents is the unique approach to the body image crisis that impacts many children. From a young age,...read more
Healing from Heaven by Dr. Suzanne R. Jamail This is my private journal, written during a difficult period of my life. The economy was poor, business was slow. The recession ravaged my private practice as a clinical psychologist. Thrown overboard into a...read more
Healing of Rejection with the Help of the Lord, A Survivor’s Guide by Dr. Ronda Chervin “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.” Psalm 118: 22-23. Dr. Ronda Chervin’s Healing...read more
Marrying the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet by Shane Kapler Discover the rewards of uniting two of the Catholic Church’s most beloved devotions. In this new book, Shane Kapler provides 20 reflections - paired with 40 classic works of art -...read more
Taming the Lion Within: 5 Steps from Anger to Peace by Dr. Ronda Chervin Five steps to help people overcome uncontrolled or over-reactive anger. Steps include admitting being angry person: identifying the anger: physical, psychological and spiritual...read more
The Prayer of Jesus Crucified: A Simple Way to Go Further in Prayer by Fr. Larry Tucker, SOLT Description: In a world where so many people are looking for a way out . . . an escape . . . and finding only pain and disillusionment, The Prayer of Jesus...read more
Adventures in the Father’s Joy: Mission Stories for The New Evangelization by Fr. Lawrence Tucker, SOLT As Pope Francis point’s out in The Joy of the Gospel, “If we want to advance in the spiritual life, then, we must constantly be...read more
FREE ITEMS … Page down to see many FREE offerings! Listening to item #09 and reading items #07 and #08 are highly recommended. Book #2 … will be available in August 2019 at all usual book outlets (sharing another 100 miracle stories). (Both books are great...read more
Waiting with Purpose by Jeannie Ewing All of life involves waiting. We wait at stoplights. We are caught in traffic jams. We agonize over medical test results. We hang on to a much-anticipated getaway. Sometimes, we wait to finish a project, welcome a new...read more
Canticle of Returning by William J. Brown A celebrated tax law professor leaves the classroom to embark on a journey to a place that is both familiar and somehow new to him. In this book—part memoir, part devotional—he shares his transformation from a...read more
Cry Oneness by Joe Avalos I was spiritually dead, despite all the things I was doing with my life. I don’t think there’s a worse death that can happen to any human being. Now I have a Life beyond my dreams. Full of Miracles, Poetry, and Locutions. This...read more
Diamonds in the Rough: Homilies and Reflections on the Mystery of Suffering Sister Paula J. Miller, FSE, Editor Theologians in their final months at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach, Florida, reflect on the meaning and purpose of human...read more
Apostles of Light of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Offering Ourselves on the Altar of Mary’s Heart in Union with Jesus, for the Glory of God & the Salvation of Souls
Apostles of Light of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Offering Ourselves on the Altar of Mary’s Heart in Union with Jesus, for the Glory of God & the Salvation of Souls by Jayson M. Brunelle If you like this one, you might consider also buying Jayson’s The...read more
Escaping Anxiety Along the Road to Spiritual Joy by Albert E. Hughes and Ronda Chervin Escaping Anxiety along the Road to Spiritual Joy is not a “simple” book of advice, which could turn out to be ineffective because too “pat.” Instead it evolved into...read more
Trinity Footprints by Roger Skrenes This book asserts there are evidences of the tri-une nature of God in both people and in the world. However, such instances of God’s presence are not generally known by Christians or by others around the world. This book...read more
COMING SOON! Check back when this book is published. TESTIMONIALS COMING SOON ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP, is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, CT. He first...read more
A Fool’s Errand: A Brief, Informal Introduction to Philosophy for Young Catholics by Matthew D’Antuono What is the meaning of life? What is the nature of existence? Why am I here? What is real happiness? The big questions. Are there answers to these...read more
Weeping with Jesus: The Journey from Grief to Hope by Dr. Ronda Chervin In the past the word grief was used only to describe the sorrow of loss through death. Nowadays pain coming from other kinds of losses such as rejection and divorce are also seen to...read more
Bereavement Miracles by Michael Frey The Bereavement Miracles program was designed to play a quintessential role in evangelizing the “spirit of mission” to individuals who are suffering from the death of a loved one by relating eternal realities in a...read more
In Praise of Life by Dr. Donald DeMarco This book illustrates how ten different factors can improve our appreciation of life: Evolution prepares it, Meaning justifies it, Love enhances it, Truth directs it, Freedom crowns it, Virtue strengthens it,...read more
How to Flourish in a Fallen World by Dr. Donald DeMarco How to Flourish in a Fallen World, by Donald DeMarco, engages the reader in an understanding of our common human nature and the problems it faces in a culture that actively pursues, to put it in Saint...read more
Spirituality for All Times: Readings from the Catholic Classics Spirituality for All Times is offered in the hope that it will inspire those who seek a deeper union with God. The authors have chosen to offer short selections to enable the reader to wade in...read more